Barry Tebb





There is no way to bridge the chasm

Between the living and the dead.

Two years on you came in a dream,

Mute, expressionless, dressed in blue

Just as you were when I first met you.

Desperately we tried to speak

But our lips refused to move

As your image faded.

I Was Heathcliff bereft

Crying into the wind.



   The Divine Pity

   In memory of Brenda Williams (1948-2015)


   For Alan Morrison without whose encouragement nothing would have moved and

   for Daisy Abey without whose support nothing would have begun


   The grief from your death is beyond measure

   My closest friend for fifty years.

   Remembering the rivers of hours

   That passed between us, your early years

   A harvest of sadness, only at the end

   Had we worked through the nights you spent

   At your mother’s side, walking the winter nights

   To avoid your father’s rage.

   We took those years apart

   Nightmare by nightmare

   Fear by fear, his steps towards the door

   His threats, his flailing,

   The hands of the clock

    As the time drew near.

   Your sister and brothers in bed

   As eldest you must bear

   Your mother’s fear

   And be a shield

   And still a child endure.

   No longer here

   You can mentor me

   No more or catch

   A doubtful metaphor

   Or make coffee

   While I explore

   Your shelves to find

   Delmore and his despair.

   I have none of your cats

   To caress and share

   Piggy especially

   Who would sit by your side

   And adore.

   I had a phone for you alone

   And a second elsewhere

   Our conversations metered

   By the hour and every year

   There would be more

   I never thought to keep the score.

   Joining the shards,piercing the shades

   Through the lens of fear

   Making clear the memories

   Far and near.



Barry Tebb © 2017